Two Wood River Valley senior baseball teams felt they died and went to heaven, playing 14 games Oct. 22-26 during the 20th anniversary Men's Senior Baseball League World Series in Phoenix.
Hailey Hawks and Sun Valley Solar Sox won eight of their 14 games at Valley of the Sun.
Sponsored by Hailey Car Quest and Chapala Restaurant, the Hailey Hawks won their first four games, scored 91 runs and went 5-2 over four days. They reached the quarterfinals of the 25-plus Central Division.
Hailey, batting .374 as a team with 107 hits and 43 walks, tied the San Antonio Bulldogs for first place in the eight-team Division 2 round-robin and then dropped its quarterfinal contest to the Salt Lake City Buzzards 10-4 Friday, Oct. 26.
The Hawks opened Oct. 22 with 10-2 and 16-7 wins over Long Island Murderer's Row and Chicago North TSPs, then added a 16-11 victory over the Colorado Orioles Oct. 23. Eli Lloyd, Gio Tognoni and Anthony Anderson each pitched seven innings for the wins in the first three Hawks games.
Pat McGee (4 innings) and Cesar Espinoza (5 innings) hurled Hailey to a 17-11 triumph over the Utah Rockies Oct. 24. Later that day, the Sonoma County Blacksox handed the Hawks their first loss 17-10.
But righthander Brian Nelson kept the Hawks in the thick of things, throwing a nine-inning complete game 18-2 victory over the Southern California Brewers Thursday, Oct. 25.
Kenny Nelson (13-for-28, .464, 11 runs, 6 RBI) and Anthony Anderson (13-for-28, .464, 7 runs, 16 RBI, 5 doubles) were the leading Hawks hitters, followed by Cesar Espinoza (9-for-16, .563, 7 runs, 4 RBI, 2 triples).
Other hitters: Bryan Burrell (9-for-24, .375, 14 runs, 6 BB); player/manager John Rathfon (12-for-27, .444, 9 runs, 6 RBI); Robin Sarchett (9-for-20, .450, 5 runs, 5 RBI); Brian Nelson (7-for-18, .389, 5 runs, 5 RBI); Ryan Stavros (9-for-27, .333, 11 runs, 4 RBI, 6 BB); Justin Herald (8-for-23, .348, 10 runs); Eli Lloyd (6-for-21, .286, 4 RBI); and Gio Tognoni (5-for-20, .250, 3 runs).
Other Hawks were Brad Slickers, McGee and Dave Fox.
Hawks Brian Nelson and Anthony Anderson did double duty, also playing for player/manager Curtis Bacca's Sun Valley Solar Sox (3-4) in the 35-plus Wood Bat Central Division of the MSBL event.
Jimmy Jorgensen was a mainstay of the Solar Sox pitching staff, throwing an eight-inning, nine-hitter in a close 3-2 loss to eventual championship game participant Tri Valley Brewers Oct. 22 at Grand Canyon University field.
The Solar Sox also lost to the Kansas City Knights 12-7 and Arizona Mavericks 13-3, but they came up big with 9-0, 21-5 and 11-8 victories over the Temecula Tigers, Orange County Buckeyes and Long Island Cardinals. The Sox exited with a 6-4 quarterfinal loss to the Division 1 king Las Vegas Rattlers.
Among the top Solar Sox hitters were Curtis Bacca, Sean Moran, Anthony Anderson and Jorgensen. Rounding out the roster were Craig Anderson, Jimmy Bradley, Pat Creighton, Paul Creighton, Nelson Drewien, Dave Fox, Jeff Poggi and Rod Watson.